Argentine (灰燐 Ājentain) is a Hikari artwork created before the Cultural Revolution, who was supposedly destroyed by the Hikari family long before the events of the series.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Argentine has tan skin, blonde hair, and light blue, purple, or gray eyes. He always wears a black turtle neck underneath other pieces of clothing.

When he is first introduced, he wears black pants, black gloves, and a long red coat with white stripes on the sleeves. Later, he is given a butler's suit by Emiko Niwa. His alternate form is a small gecko-like lizard.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Argentine is naïve about humans, feelings, and the nature of life or "heart". He is quiet and serious except when he is near Dark Mousy, whom he calls "Black Wings", and when passionately pursuing his goal.

He is curious and emotional when questioning Risa Harada, though he does not understand the cause or meaning of his tears.

Later, when he is completed and given a home, he settles into his stoic personality.

History[edit | edit source]

Past[edit | edit source]

According to Kosuke Niwa, Argentine was a piece of art created and destroyed by the Hikari family long ago.[1] and no one except its creator had seen it.[2] According to Commissioner Hiwatari, its purpose was likely to protect another artwork, Qualia.[3]

Argentine lived with his creator, who did not see him as a real artwork, for an undetermined time, and witnessed his suffering and many painful artworks destructions. His creator didn't in fact destroy him completely and locked him alone in a secluded place, hidden by three towers and contained by an electric power system, where he recreated Qualia, copying his creator's techniques. Ignorant of what emotions are, he's seeking a way to give a heart to Qualia.[4]

Azumano Joyland & Main arc[edit | edit source]

Despite the sparse information about his destruction, Argentine unexpectedly appears in the Azumano Joyland amusement park to find Dark's Sacred Maiden and use her to learn how to become like the Black Wings artwork and give a heart to Qualia. Guessing how precious she is to Dark, he kidnaps Risa Harada[5] and brings her to a mysterious tower.

As Argentine is taking her, Risa falls unconscious. The artwork changes her clothes and prepares a vase of roses to please her. When she wakes up, he also plays the piano to make her awakening more agreeable[6]. After a heated exchange, the young lady strongly against being changed during her sleep, Argentine reveals he desires to become like Dark, and that the later isn't human.[7]

When Risa next wakes up, Argentine has changed her outfit and the flowers again, getting from Risa's previous reaction that she had simply disliked his choices. Honestly confused by her negative reactions, he tells her a few details of his past and asks her the way to become the Black Wings. Risa's ignorance causes him a strong pain he doesn't recognize: an emotion.

Later, Argentine introduces Risa to Qualia and tells her about their past together, explaining how he inexplicably feels bound to the other artwork. The girl explains he feels love, making him excited and eager to learn more[4]. However, Daisuke Niwa and Satoshi Hiwatari, who infiltrated the towers to find Risa, activate a trap at this moment and alarm Argentine, who gets ready to fight Dark and keep the girl, he sees as his "key" with him[8].

Risa tries in vain to stop Argentine when she realises he's attacking Dark, and her screams make him remember a scene of his past. Nonetheless, the fight goes on, as Qualia provides Argentine the strength he needs, until it breaks[9].

Now powerless, Argentine comes inside the tower to check on Qualia and apologizes to its remains for being unable to bring it a heart. Daisuke, who changed back after the fight, rejoins him and assures that sharing emotions with someone else is enough to assume one has a heart. Before breaking for good and turning to stone, Argentine is reassured by the thought that he and Qualia loved each other.

Argentine as a lizard with Laura's Ring.

Back home, Daisuke tells what happened to his mother, who regrets wasting the opportunity to add Argentine to the family collection. However, Towa indicates that she can still feel him[10].

Part of the Niwa household[edit | edit source]

Satoshi retrieves and repairs Argentine, using parts of what is left of Qualia. The boy modifies him so that he only has a power of repairing artworks left and sends him to the Niwa household. Argentine, using his lizard form, hides into one of Dark's targets, Laura's Ring, to infiltrate the house and repairs artworks in the basement until he's found out. Emiko, delighted to see a precious work of art joining spontaneously, immediately adopts him as a butler, much to Towa and Dark’s displeasure[11].

Argentine as a butler.

When Daisuke has to get ready to the Azumano Dance Party, Argentine helps Emiko and Towa to prepare him an outfit, taking the boy's measurements and making him trying out shoes[12].

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Qualia[edit | edit source]

Qualia and Argentine have been created to work together, as Argentine's purpose is to protect his fellow artwork, however, they develop a tight bond over the years.

Indeed, after their creator discarded him, Argentine recreated Qualia, who had been destroyed, and promised he would give it a real "heart". During their years of seclusion, they spend lots of time together and Argentine falls in love with Qualia without understanding the nature of these sensations. Since it doesn't talk, Qualia's feelings are uncertain, but it cares for Argentine, smiles to him[4] and provides him the strength he needs. As it's breaking, Qualia's last word is Argentine's name[9]

When he's set free, all of Argentine's actions are directed toward fulfilling the promise he made to Qualia, from Risa Harada's kidnapping to his fight with Dark; however, he understands he is in love with the other artwork only when Daisuke Niwa tells him[10].

Satoshi Hiwatari revives Argentine by repairing him with parts of Qualia[11].

Risa Harada[edit | edit source]

Risa Harada and Argentine share a complicated relationship, as the artwork kidnaps her to understand how to get a "heart"[5]. Risa reacts with anger and fear to Argentine's behaviour[6], but later expresses curiosity as she realises he doesn't understand what feelings are and resembles Dark in a way[4]. It doesn't stop her from fighting him when she sees him attacking Dark[9].

On the other hand, Argentine cares about making her feel at ease, by providing her flowers and music[6], for example, but only sees her as a way to understand Dark's feelings.

Dark Mousy[edit | edit source]

For years, Argentine saw Dark - the Black Wings - as a goal to reach; indeed, Dark has feelings, something Argentine wants to give to his dear Qualia[4].

Argentine taunts him by kidnapping someone he cares for, Risa Harada, and leaving an imitation of the thief's warning letters signed with his name[5].

When they meet again, Dark is determined to bring Risa back and get his revenge for the humiliation Argentine inflicted on him. The thief is ready to break Argentine down, but Daisuke stops him. During the fight, Argentine only wants to protect the "key" to achieve his goals, Risa, and directly ask Dark how to find a heart[9].

Later, Dark is against Argentine joining the Niwa household[11].

Emiko Niwa[edit | edit source]

Emiko Niwa sees Argentine as a valuable artwork and regrets not being able to add him to her collection when she learns he's been broken after his fight with Dark. As a consequence, she's delighted when he unexpectedly joins the household later, even calling him a "treasure" and embracing him. She excitedly dresses him as a butler and counts on him to assist Towa in her cleaning tasks and herself[11].

Towa[edit | edit source]

Towa and Argentine don't get along. Frightened when she first meets him, as she mistakes him for a ghost, she finally feels nothing but anger at the idea of letting another artwork that can change into a reptile (birds' natural enemies, as she says) into the house. Argentine, in return, calls her useless.

Towa is also depicted cursing him behind his back[11].

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "[My creator] told me... that which is incomplete seeks completion... yet... that which is incomplete is no better than that which is complete. Do you [Risa] understand?"[2]
  • "[The destroyed artwork's] tortured howls echoed... and one by one [the creator] would destroy them..."[4]
  • "I wanted to give you [Qualia] a heart."[10]
  • "You'll [Risa] break. Humans are so fragile."[1]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Manga: Stage 3, Part 16; Volume 11
  2. 2.0 2.1 Manga: Stage 3, Part 14; Volume 11
  3. Manga: Stage 4, Part 12; Volume 15
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Manga: Stage 3, Part 18; Volume 12
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Manga: Stage 3, Part 12; Volume 11
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Manga: Stage 3, Part 15; Volume 11
  7. Manga: Stage 3, Part 17; Volume 11
  8. Manga: Stage 3, Part 21; Volume 13
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Manga: Stage 3, Part 22; Volume 13
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Manga: Stage 3, Part 23; Volume 13
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Manga: Argentine special, Volume 14
  12. Manga: Stage 4, Part 10; Volume 15
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